The NFLPA is again cracking down on the Jaguars and their vice-president of football operations, Tom Coughlin.
In a story reported first at NFL.com, an NFL arbitrator ruled against the Jaguars in a case involving former Jaguars player Dante Fowler. The Jaguars fined Fowler on 25 separate occasions, totaling over $700,000, for not rehabbing at team facilities during voluntary periods. This is against league rules and is just another instance of vice-president of football operations Tom Coughlin overreaching.
"Per the story by Nick Shook and a tweet from Tom Pelissero, “The NFL Player’s Association distributed a statement to the players, stating: “In the last two years, 25 percent of the grievances filed by players in the entire league has been filed against the Jaguars. You as players may want to consider this when you have a chance to select your next club.”"
This statement leads me to ask whether incidents with players such as Fowler, Leonard Fournette, Jalen Ramsey, and others over the last two to three years are directly correlated to Coughlin’s handling of players. Coughlin already has a reputation as a hard-nosed manager, but the “Do it ‘cause I said so” attitude is in direct conflict with league rules and he shows no propensity to change.
Now it appears his dictatorial style is having a direct, detrimental effect on the team’s ability to pursue and sign free agents. The NFLPA’s statement will impact free agency. Players looking to play elsewhere in 2020 will talk to current and, more importantly, former Jaguars about the conditions within TIAA Bank Field and how the leadership structure is run with regard to handling situations like these.
This should not be taken lightly.
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The front office has traded two top-five draft picks, Ramsey and Fowler, stemming from on-field incidents that Coughlin later addressed with them.
This could all change is and when there are changes made by team owner Shad Khan, who many ow be forced to fire Coughlin and in turn, could remove general manager David Caldwell and head coach Doug Marrone.
The Jaguars cannot afford to miss out on players because of their management style. Nor can the team afford to lose very talented, high draft picks due to conflicts with management. This season has been tough because of injuries, struggles with management-player conflict and a lack of productivity on the field.
This latest situation does not help the organization and should eliminate the chance that Coughlin returns in 2020.
I read a study while attending school working toward my Bachelors Degree that stated people don’t leave companies, people leave managers. It’s appropriate in this situation because current players won’t stay if the same structure of management remains with this organization much longer. A team cannot bend just because a player is unhappy. But neither can they continue to lose top-rate talent because of their leadership.
The team’s record this year and last may already have Jaguars owner Shahid Khan leaning toward replacing Tom Coughlin. If so, a story such as this may be the catalyst that pushes him the rest of the way. What this kind of situation creates is another bad look for this franchise – one the fan base wants to see changed now, not in the future.